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Functional Genomics

The Functional Genomics section brings together 9 research groups including one group affiliated with the Physics department of ENS. Our research focuses on multiple fundamental aspects of genome dynamics and expression.

Several facets of genome structure are tackled, such as genome organisation during evolution and genome rearrangement, recombination, replication and repair during cell division. We are particularly interested in understanding the underlying fundamental mechanisms and their interconnections with the regulation of gene expression at the transcriptional and post-transcriptional levels. Notably, we study the complex life of messenger RNA and the various functions of non-coding RNA, along with their impact on cellular morphology in normal and pathological contexts. Several model organisms are used: paramecia, xenopus, human cells, and the pathogenic bacteria Listeria monocytogenes.

We employ various cutting-edge and complementary experimental strategies including: biophysical tools for the nanomanipulation and visualisation of single molecules of DNA, RNA and molecular motors; imaging of functional macromolecular complexes by high throughput microscopy and image analysis; large-scale methods of genomics and transcriptomics coupled with the development of novel bio-computational modelling tools; comparative genomics and construction of predictive regulatory networks. The strength of our section resides in the integration of experimental approaches and bioinformatics in order to elucidate the complexity of genome dynamics.

Olivier Hyrien, section coordinator